By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
There were rumors of D'Angelo covering Prince's "Adore" on Voodoo, rather than the decent Roberta Flack track "Feel Like Makin' Love" (not featuring Lauryn Hill, despite what you've read elsewhere). But "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" is a far grander surprise, the most spiritedballad of D's career despite its Dirty Mind-Controversy copy-catechisms.(Prince himself once similarly recorded "Make Your Mama Happy" to prove a point to ex-girlfriend Susannah Melvoin about Sly Stone; point probably being, "I can rock this style, too.")
The critics who picked apart Sign o' the Times in 1987 for being uneven are the same critics who now cite the double album as the pinnacle of Prince's career. I ain't goin out like that. Even with its heavy-handed emphasis on groove over melody, the majority of songs topping a self-indulgent six minutes, and D'Angelo not really singing enough, Voodoo is still that shit. Like Prince somewhere between For You and Dirty Mind, Marvin somewhere between Soulful Moods and What's Going On, or Lauryn somewhere between Blunted on Reality and Miseducation, D'Angelo is striding on the path toward revealing his true self; with Voodoo, he's halfway there.
But no apologetic "at least he's trying" justification summary here. If you let it, Voodoo can be spellbinding. Fly in the face of prophecy at your own peril.